The FGB Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Grab in talks to raise USD$500m; Foodtech NotCo raises USD$85m; and wellness app Urban raises £5.6m.
Grab negotiating to raise up to USD$500m
Singaporean ride-hailing company, Grab, is in talks to raise up to USD$500m (£378m) in a bid to amp up its financial services division. Grab, which has evolved into a multi-faceted company providing food delivery, grocery delivery, escooter hire, payment services, and insurance, among other things in its eight-year history, is apparently in advanced talks with Prudential and AIA Group.
Grab Holdings is worth USD$14bn (£10.6bn), with its financial arm, Grab Financial Group's pre-money valuation estimated to be USD$2bn (£1.5bn). The potential investment certainly indicates limited impact from the pandemic on fundraising for the Southeast Asian behemoth, as well as the opportunity for companies like Grab to drive tech-led financial services in the region.
Foodtech NotCo raises USD$85m
NotCo, the Chilean foodtech, specialising in plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, has raised USD$85m (£64m) to expand into the US. According to people in the know, this latest round brings the company's valuation to around USD$300m (£227m). The funding came from new investors, L Catterton Partners, Future Positive, and General Catalyst, as well as previous NotCo investors, Kaszek Ventures, The Craftory, Bezos Expeditions, Endeavour Catalyst, IndieBio, Humbolt Capital, and Maya Capital.
NotCo's brands include NotBurger, NotMeat, NotIceCream, NotMayo and NotMilk, and the company currently supplies its meat substitute products to Burger King and Papa John's restaurants in Chile. The latest funding and US expansion will put NotCo firmly in the path of competitors Perfect Day and BeyondMeat. With NotCo's approach to plant-based products; replicating the entire sensory experience, not just one element, there's no reason why the Chilean company can't compete on the world stage in a market expected to be worth USD$4.2bn (£3.2bn) globally in 2021.
Urban raises £5.57m
UK-based wellness app, Urban, has raised £5.57m to date through equity crowdfunding on the Seedrs platform. With the fundraising campaign set to close on 17 September, it has already exceeded its £2m target by 184%. Founded in 2014 and operating in London, Manchester and Birmingham in the UK, as well as Paris, France, with £20m funding already secured, Urban recruits wellness practitioners to deliver at-home services, including massages and personal training.
Urban plans to use the latest funding to deliver on some trends experienced during the coronavirus pandemic, including taking advantage of high-street operators looking to branch out into mobile opportunities, as well as reduced market competition. The company plans to scale into new markets and head towards OPEX (operational expenditure) profitability by the end of Q1 2021.